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How to Clean Pontoon Boat Sides: [The Ultimate Guide]

How to Clean Pontoon Boat Sides: [The Ultimate Guide]
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Pontoon boats are a mainstay on most lakes and waterways. They offer the ability to get out onto deep water where larger boats cannot go and provide more room for passengers and equipment.

Because pontoon boats are so popular and often used, they must be kept in excellent condition. This can include cleaning the boat’s sides if you see algae or other water-borne growths.

What will you need?

The first thing you need to do is get the right cleaning supplies for your pontoon boat. You can find these at any marine supply store or a large hardware chain like Home Depot or Lowe’s.

You will need a cleaner/degreaser, some scrubbing brush, and a hose. You can also use deck cleaners designed for power washing your boat.

Preparing the Boat

Before you start cleaning the boat, it is vital to make sure that your boat is dry. The best way to do this would be with a water hose and by wiping down the pontoon with a clean, dry cloth. The boat should be completely dry before cleaning it because the dirt can mix with the soap and create a gritty film that will stick to everything.

When drying your boat, you should ensure you are not using a leaf blower or anything else that could blow dirt back on your boat. This can cause the boat to be dirty very quickly and cause you to have to clean it more often.

The pontoon boat sides cleaning process

Now to Clean Pontoon Boat Sides Follow these steps to get your boat sides sparkling clean.

Step 1: Wash the Boat Sides with a Soap Solution Mix one cup of dishwashing liquid and two gallons of water in a bucket. Dip a sponge into the solution and scrub the boat sides. Rinse with clean water after each pass until you’ve cleaned your entire pontoon boat.

Step 2: Clean Off Excess Dirt Use a sponge to wipe the pontoon boat sides clean of any excess soap. You may have to scrub off some dirt and grime.

Step 3: Clean the Boat Sides with a Water and Vinegar Solution Mix one-half cup of white vinegar and a gallon of water. Dip a sponge into the solution and scrub your boat sides with it. Rinse well after each pass.

Step 4: Wash the Boat Sides with a Water and Ammonia Solution Mix one-half cup of ammonia and a gallon of water in a bucket. Dip a sponge into the solution and scrub your boat sides with it. Rinse well after each pass.

Step 5: Now You Can Wax the Boat Sides The boat sides should be clean and shiny after you’ve washed them with water, vinegar, or ammonia. Now, it’s time to wax your pontoon boat. You can use paste wax or liquid boat wax. The paste wax requires you to use a soft cloth and rub the wax on. You can apply the liquid boat wax with a sponge or an old towel.

Step 6: Buff Away the Wax Buff the boat sides with a clean, soft cloth to remove excess wax. The buffing process should leave your pontoon boat’s sides looking shiny and smooth.

 pontoon boat sides cleaning process

How do you clean the aluminum side of a pontoon boat?

Aluminum can be cleaned using a soft cloth and a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water. This will remove any dirt or grime from the surface without damaging it. If stubborn stains are on your pontoon boat’s aluminum, you can use a plastic scrubber.

It would be best if you did not use abrasive cleaners such as steel wool or scouring powder on your pontoon boat’s aluminum because they will damage the finish.

You can clean the aluminum with baking soda if you don’t have white vinegar. To deep clean aluminum, begin by cleaning the outside of the boat with soapy water to identify the areas that need to be cleaned with vinegar.

How do you clean and polish boat rails?

There are several ways to clean and polish boat rails. You can dilute bleach and use it to clean mold from boat rails. You can also ensure your boat seat is always dry to prevent mold growth. Finally, you can use magic erasers to clean boat rails.

Will vinegar clean pontoons?

Yes, vinegar can clean pontoons. Vinegar is a cheap and effective multi-purpose cleaner that can help you keep your boat clean. Vinegar works well on just about anything.

When you spray vinegar on aluminum pontoons or use it as a hull cleaner on aluminum boats, the metal reacts and neutralizes the solution. This effect cuts through a lot of the grime that accumulates on a boat.

This solution is not typically sufficient to clean an entire boat, but it does help to remove discolorations and water spots.